COMMENTARY ON THE PROPHECIES
Most of the prophetical books have proper titles. They are of varying length, that of Jeremiah being the longest and most comprehensive and that of Obadiah, as is fitting, the shortest. The book of Haggai, like those of Ezekiel, Jonah and Zechariah, has none, the opening verse being merely an introduction to the first of a brief series of prophecies of which the two chapters of the work are mainly composed. The contents of these chapters naturally fall into four sections, each of which has prefixed to it the date of the prophecy therein reported. The general subject is the restoration of the temple at Jerusalem. The first subordinate topic is
§ 1. THE MOVEMENT TO REBUILD THE SANCTUARY (11–15a).
This topic occupies the whole of the first chapter, in its original extent, but the prophet is the speaker only in vv.2–11, the rest of the passage being an account of the effect of his message on those to whom it was delivered. Hence it will be advisable to discuss the chapter under two heads, the first being
a. THE MESSAGE OF THE PROPHET (11–11).
It begins abruptly with the citation of the adverse opinion among the Jews with reference to the question of rebuilding the sanctuary (v.2). Haggai argues for the contrary, presenting two reasons (vv.4–6) calculated to appeal strongly to those to whom they were addressed. Taking the validity of these arguments for granted, he proceeds to exhort his people to act in the matter (vv.7f); but,